Flower Photography – Narrowing the Focus

Lily - On the Inside

After taking a hiatus from photo shoots to learn and get comfortable with a new camera and lenses, I decided to take a new approach to my flower photography. My process has always been to find an interesting flower against a relatively good background and shoot it with a variety of lenses; wide, telephoto, macro, Lensbaby. My thinking is, a beautiful flower speaks for itself. Not too much thought or creativity goes into this process. Consequently, many of my flower photographs look like many of the photographs taken by everybody else.

For Easter someone brought me a Lily plant. Given spring is still fleeting here in Chicagoland (might snow this weekend), I decided to place the plant on a patio table and see what I could come up with creatively. Not too many ways to shoot a single lily. I kept focusing on what is the most interesting thing about this lily. This is what I came up with.

The photograph taken above was not cropped. The subject was shot as is. So this year, I’ve decided to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone and photograph only a portion of every flower I shoot. I believe it is going to be “easier said than done”! But if nothing else, I am hoping to learn a lot, and it will definitely be interesting!!

The photo below was taken a few years ago.

Pansy - showing off



  1. Beautiful photos. Your top photo could almost be mistaken for a flower in a bed of whipped cream. I’ve been trying a similar approach. A few months back I focused on the thorns of a cactus in the front yard (posted in my blog) and just recently I focused on the stamen of a bougainvillea flower.
    I was concerned with blur which clearly you are not overly worried about, an approach that turned out a lovely work.
    My problems with the bougainvillea were my hands shaking (solved by a tripod and cable release) and the slightest breeze (solved by the obvious – choosing a better afternoon).
    I love your work.


  2. Thank you so much. It is always difficult to uniquely photograph flowers. Like you I am always concerned with blur and sharpness in my photographs. This is really stepping outside my comfort zone. The tripod is the only way I can shoot these types of photos.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.